Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Wow – I can’t believe it’s just two and a half months until the big day. The things that we have to do are dwindling, and now it’s all about planning and preparing for the wedding. I’m getting excited! I suppose I should be nervous or something, but I’m not – not at all, actually! I guess that’s a good sign. =)

[ Tip: Plan for Safekeeping: Make arrangements ahead of time for one of your attendants to collect the “accessories” and hold them for safe keeping. Make a list for him/her and include items such as toasting flutes, cake knife, guest book, and cake topper.]

One thing that IS making me nervous, though, is the money situation. I know, I know – I talk about money all the time. The truth is that my financial situation right now scares me. It seems like I’m spending so much cash on things like cake toppers and personalized napkins, and not enough on – oh, I don’t know – food?! It’s a good thing I’m on the infamous bride diet right now, because my cabinets are currently full of ramen noodles and maple syrup…and that’s about it. It’s not that I need to scrimp that much; it’s just that I get nervous when I’m dropping hundreds of dollars on things like Jordan almonds and tiny heart-shaped boxes to put them in and normally bring a book of coupons and a calculator to the grocery store with me when I buy cereal. If you’re a bride, you can relate…right? Please tell me that someone else out there feels the same way!

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[ Tip: Heirloom Budget Item: One way to save expenses and express sentimentality is to ask your parents, a close friend, or relative to borrow their cake topper.

Money issues aside, the accessorizing part of the wedding is fun. Y’know, there are so many little details that, once you look around enough, you want to include. Something as silly as personalized napkins becomes suddenly the most exciting thing on Earth. There are a lot of Hudson Valley resources for stuff like that, too – which is nice if you don’t want to be shopping around online all the time. Michael’s Crafts on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie is particularly good for little details, like bubbles and other DIY wedding stuff.

Okay, before you start wondering what accessories I could possibly be talking about, I’m going to run down a little list of things I’ve been buying for you. Some of them might seem unnecessary, but they’re just little details that I wanted to make the wedding a little extra-special.

– Wedding program paper
– Bubbles for after the ceremony
– Small basket to hold bubble containers
– Small clutch purse for me – so as not to burden myself with my GIANT everyday bag
– Guest book
– Guest book pen
– Picture frames for photos (for the guest book table)
– Small boxes for favors
– Tulle netting for inside favor boxes
– Jordan almonds for favors (because I think they’re delicious and pretty!)
– Other favor items that I’m not going to mention because I want to keep them a surprise for the guests (some of whom I know read this!)
– Cake topper
– Bridesmaid gifts
– Groomsmen gifts
– Gifts for… people who shouldn’t know they’re getting gifts! =)
– Thank-you cards
– Jewelry
– Shoes
– Undergarments for the dress
– Garter
– Personalized beverage napkins for the cocktail hour
– Decoration items to go around the room (window clings, etc – check them out at this Web site, “Invitations by Dawn!” The site is pretty pricey, but they have unique things…and very elegant-looking.)
– Candles for around the centerpieces

[ Tip: Light Up My Life: If you are planning to use candles on your tables as part of, or as your centerpiece, check the burning time. A candle that’s “out” after an hour or two just won’t do.]

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– Disposable cameras for the tables
– Convenience baskets for the bathrooms – complete with hairspray, clear nail polish, painkillers, body spray, etc. (We want to be nice to our guests, since we kind of love ‘em and all…)
– I know there’s more that I’m not thinking of…but I’ll end there.
So, that’s that. It’s adding up! I found a couple of places that stock things like that, though. Ergo, a list of shops where you might be able to find the said accessories:

– Forever Favors (Middletown) – Great store! Good for almost everything on my list – minus clothing items.
– The Bridal Cottage (Kingston) – Such a wonderful shop, and with great management. They offer everything from dresses to veils to shoes and purses. The owner is sweet, but can be a little pushy at times.
– Reginella Bridal (Montgomery) – They have much more than dresses – so much cute stuff! Jewelry, garters, gifts, you name it. It’s an intimate shop, but so good for finding unique little accents.
– Michael’s Crafts (Poughkeepsie) – You’ve probably been here before, and if you have you know what a great resource it is for decorating on a budget.
– Bridal Affairs by Melinda (Poughkeepsie) – This is literally a one-stop accessories shop. I love their selection! Not only do they have bridal accessories like gloves, veils, and purses, but they also have this awesome selection of attendant gifts (that can be personalized – yay!) and even printing for invitations and save-the-dates.

[ Tip: Sentimental Pillow: Bring the memory of loved ones into your wedding ceremony by covering the ring bearer pillow with fabric from something that belonged to a special person you want to recall. Your grandmother’s wedding gown may be not be wearable, but it can, for example, “offer” a sleeve as fabric for the pillow.

So, I hope that helps someone out there with their search for local wedding shopping. I know they’re hard to find, but the Hudson Valley is an amazing resource for most everything you’ll need for a wedding! Now if I could only find a bank in the Valley that gave away free money…

~Laura =)

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